Looking to turn up the heat this Valentine’s Day? Include some of these 9 aphrodisiac foods in your holiday meal. Admittedly, the evidence supporting their supposed aphrodisiac effects is sketchy at best, but hey, a dose of placebo effect can’t hurt!
Oysters contain both serotonin and specific amino acids found to be important in the neural pathways that lead to the pleasure response. In one study, one of the amino acids, D-Aspartic acid, increased levels of sex hormones in rats. And if you’re hoping Valentine’s Day leads to an early Christmas present (wink wink), oysters are also rich in zinc, which is an essential nutrient for sperm production. Enjoy oysters served raw with a shallot and vinegar dressing as an appetizer for Valentine’s day.
Slice open a fig and you’ll quickly understand why figs have long been thought to have an aphrodisiac effect. The sweet, jammy interior with it’s vibrant color and floral fragrance is, well, pretty darn sexy! Since figs are out of season in February, try dried figs or fig jam as part of a cheese plate.
In the Nahuatl language spoken by the Aztecs, the first known civilization to eat avocados, the word for avocado (ahuactl) means “testicle tree.” That’s because the avocado fruit often grows in pairs and droops off the branch. Yup, they went there. Avocado also contains nutrients important for sexual health, like vitamin E, beta-carotene, and magnesium. Try avocado slices drizzled with balsamic, olive oil, and honey, another aphrodisiac food.
Sweet, drippy honey may have a beneficial effect on sex hormones. Studies have shown it may boost testosterone in men, and the boron in honey may aid the use of estrogen in women. It may also boost levels of nitric oxide in the blood, which is released during arousal to improve blood flow. Whisk honey, lemon juice and olive oil for an easy sweet-tart dressing to drizzle over roasted vegetables or a side salad.
Coffee contains caffeine, a stimulant, which besides providing you with extra endurance, may boost your mood as it increases dopamine levels. Coffee can also help improve blood flow. It’s a natural pairing with chocolate, so try brownies or chocolate chip cookies baked with espresso powder for dessert. The caffeine might keep you up all night, but um, isn’t that the point?
Antioxidant rich strawberries contain several minerals thought to help support a healthy sex drive – potassium, magnesium, and folate. On Valentine’s Day, go with a classic – strawberries and champagne!
Cherries contain quercetin, a substance that may aid in physical exertion. Also, some types of cherries with a more musky scent are said to stimulate the production of pheromones. Use fresh or dried cherries to make a sweet sauce to pair with roasted chicken or steaks for a special Valentine’s Day meal.
While a box of chocolate on Valentine’s Day may be cliché, there’s good reason for this tradition. Chocolate boosts serotonin, a chemical in the brain that’s involved with arousal, and phenylethylamine, a stimulant that is released when people fall in love.
What are you eating this Valentine’s Day? Share in the comments below! Plus, don’t forget sign-up for Luvo’s newsletter for more nutritious recipes and exclusive giveaways.